The South Africa Blog: Skatin’ & Safaris

Blog entry 2: A Township Tavern Crawl and a feeding of the lions

Backtracking a bit here, getting picked up at the Kimberley airport with Danny Cerezini, who’s fresh off a flight from Barcelona.

Seriously one block from the airport we already saw kids skating. It’s amazing what the Kumba skate plaza has done to this city.

We got taken on a Township Tavern crawl our first night in town. This is Oupa’s Tavern, it’s been here for 40 years owned by Oupa himself.

Oupa himself welcomed us to Kimberley. Dude is triple O.G.

Oupa wanted a photo of us in front of his bar! Joe, Manderson, and Colin Clarke.

Deep in Kimberley, next stop was a traditional Braai—South Africa’s version of a backyard BBQ.

Lamb chops on the grill.

Rob Meronek of and filmer Colin Clarke enjoying the Braai.

Jorge ‘Porpe’ Angel with some of the hospitable locals.

The van ride got a little turnt up toward the end of the night.

The back panel are a band from Durban called Fruits & Veggies (Manderson is not in the band).

Then Saturday morning, another adventure…

Time for the weekly feeding of the lions!

Here they come!

Chucking gazelle legs into the pens!

Entrails for the whole family!

Little guys gotta eat too!

I’m down here in Kimberley, South Africa for a week to cover the Kimberley Diamond Cup that’s happening this weekend. As SA is a pretty exotic location, I thought I’d blog a bit about the non-skate activities we’re up to, the city of Kimberley, and all the dudes that made the two-day trek to get down here. Hope y’all like it. After only one day I can already tell you that SA is an amazing place and definitely worth a visit when you can.—Blair Alley

Welcome to Kimberley, South Africa. A replica of the mining town that existed in the diamond boom of the late 1800s is right next to our hotel.

Before our safari this morning, Matt Berger acquainted himself with one of the house’s Meerkats.

Not a sign you see in SoCal everyday.

Off into the plains of Africa!

A herd of Wildebeest cruising in the distance.

Checkin’ out some African roadkill: Trev Colden, Louie Lopez, Kurtis Colamonico, Manderson, and Berger.

People will Instagram anything these days.

No better dudes to be in the African bush with: Manderson, Silas, and David Broach.

The sky is huge down here.

big ass monitor crossing the road.

Jared Lucas and Mike Anderson chased it up a tree! Sketchy!

Manderson risking a severed finger for that 35mm Diana shot.

Lucked out and saw a mini herd of giraffes.

Mark Waters scooped us from the safari ride and drove us to this spot next.

We got to pet an adult female cheetah. Felix the cat himself made her purr.

Evan Smith was tripping. Cheetahs are his favorite animals.

They say your favorite animal says a lot about a person.

Then they brought out the lion cubs.

That’s Mark Waters. His arm was mangled after playing with the cubs and he loved it.

Four lion cubs. Adorable overdose.

Instagram gold.

No shit, Evan was racing one of the cheetahs up and down the fence.

Manny, chillin’. No biggie.


Lions hate this.

Then big boy walked over and we got all Nat Geo.

Then the female came up to the fence too…

…and here’s the postcard shot.

You ever pet a jackal? We did that shit too.

After that we checked out the Big Hole that Kimberley is famous for. It’s the world’s biggest man-dug hole (over 700 feet deep) and was a bountiful diamond mine from 1871 to 1914 producing over 6,000 pounds of diamonds. Fun facts!

That’s my man Jared Lucas gettin’ the footage. And that’s our hotel behind him!

There’s still a few hours of light left. Over to the park to check practice! Felipe, Tommy Fynn, and Felix talkin’ trash center court.

Nyjah was lookin’ sharp. Nollie backside heelflip up the little Euro gap.

Think this guy is gonna win?

Manny on the scene.

The locals were psyched!

Wonder twin activation. Wes and Evan.

Course overview. It’s fun with lots of smooth marble.

Wes Kremer, beamin’ and tail grabbin’ for shits and giggles.

Evan Smith, alley-oop nosegrab backside air.

The Nyjah assault begins. Nollie heelflip frontside boardslide.

Nollie flip backside lipslide.

Silas Baxter-Neal, smokin’ backside tailslide.

Nyjah, nollie 270 to switch backside lipslide.

First try backside 270 lipslide. It was a warm up for a gnarly NBD he nailed. Maybe we’ll see it in the contest this weekend!